Sea Kayak in Loreto, Baja
For those who want to experience a magical day or night on an island in Loreto Bay National Park and the fun of kayaking and paddling on the Sea of Cortez, this trip is a great choice! No experience is necessary and everything you need is provided. Your adventure is led by talented bilingual, certified kayak guides who share their knowledge of the area’s natural wonders.
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Arrive in Loreto, Evening Orientation Meeting (for 2-day Tours)
Upon your arrival in Loreto take a quick cab ride to your hotel and check into your room (Not included in trip cost). Spend your afternoon exploring the beautiful town of Loreto. You can tour the historic Mission located in the center of town, stroll through the local market and dine on authentic Mexican cuisine before meeting your guides in the designated location for an evening orientation meeting.
Please note: Only those on the 2-day tour will have an evening orientation meeting.
See our Baja Travel Guide for tips on getting to and from Loreto.
Kayak Orientation, Sea Kayak, Snorkel and Hike
We meet you at 8:30 AM in Loreto, give you a short orientation and waterproof bags to pack, then head south to our starting point. After a safety briefing and basic paddling instructions, we board our high-quality kayaks and push off from the beach into the rippling and clear waters of the Sea of Cortez.
After a 1 ½ -2 hour paddle we arrive at a sheltered cove for lunch. There’s time for a hike to the top of hill for panoramic views over the sea and westwards to the Sierra La Giganta mountain range. Cactus and other desert plants create a scene of beauty.
The bay is also a wonderful place to snorkel and if you’ve never snorkeled before, our patient guides will show you how. Colorful fishes abound in these warm, crystalline waters.
Back in the water, we continue paddling to our island campsite or back to the put in beach if you're on a day tour. Once we arrive, there’s time to set up camp and soak in the spectacular scenery. Then you may want to walk, swim, snorkel or relax with a book.
Soon appetizers are served along with a fun Mexican beverage concoction. Dinner is made from local ingredients and is delicious and bountiful. As the sky darkens stars light up the sky! With little civilization around, it’s a dark sky with excellent stargazing.
Paddle, Hike, Return to Loreto
In the morning ocean and island noises wake us. Birds chirping, perhaps mantas jumping and slapping the water, the sound of waves lapping on the beach. Breakfast is served, we take camp down, and pack for another fun day on the water. We paddle along the shore of our island home eventually finding a spot for lunch and possibly a short hike to a stunning vantage point. We paddle past colonies of seabirds and may see frolicking dolphins or even whales passing by.
By mid-afternoon we’re back on the beach we departed from on Day 1, loading up kayaks and heading back to Loreto. Well done!
Dates & Rates
We offer daily departures by request, for 1 and 2-day Loreto Kayaking Tours from November 1 - January 10 and from April 1-30, on a space available basis. Please contact an Adventure Consultant for details on a desired date and group size.
- 2 People - $220 per person
- 3-4 People - $165 per person
- 5-8 People - $135 per person
- 2 People - $490 per person
- 3-4 People - $390 per person
- 5-8 People - $370 per person
- Full services of our Adventure Consultants
- Professional naturalist and bi-lingual guides
- All meals and beverages as indicated on the itinerary
- Overnight camping on the 2 Day Tour
- All transportation while on tour
- All kayaking, camping and snorkeling equipment
- Panga supported kayaking tour
Transportation to and from the airport
Hotel before and after the tour
$30 National Parks & Biosphere Reserves access fees required by itinerary
Items of a personal nature
Single Supplement: Solo travelers will always have their own tent during kayaking tours, at no additional cost. (limited amount of single tents available at no charge, per departure) Single kayaks are available to reserve and use throughout the trip for an additional cost of $100. Please note, you must have previous ocean paddling experience to reserve a single kayak.
WEATHER-CAUSED TRIP ALTERATIONS
Strong winds and/or rough water conditions sometimes prevent our trips from going as scheduled. We are at the mercy of nature, as well as the local Port Captains who determine if ports are open or closed. In particular, on our La Paz-based trips, winds may prevent us from crossing from the Port to Espiritu Santo Island which may also be reason for the Port Captain to close the port or prohibit crossing. In these cases there are different solutions. Sometimes we have to delay the crossing by a day or two, or have to leave Espiritu Santo Island a day or two early. In these cases we provide a substitute activity for the day(s) we cannot kayak. If the weather forecast predicts a series of days with strong winds, we also reserve the right to transfer the trip to Magdalena Bay on the Pacific Coast, which is almost always in calm, protected waters. We recognize this isn't ideal, however we have no control over nature. Most people prefer to still have a trip going, versus no kayak trip at all. Decisions to alter trips are not made until the last minute*, since we are basing our decisions on wind and weather forecasts that can change. Your guides will inform you at the evening orientation meeting if the trip location has changed or the itinerary has been altered. We use apps like Windy or Windfinder Pro to monitor winds and forecasts. The safety and security of our trips is the primary focus of our decisions.
If you purchase Trip Insurance and wish to cancel on the day of the trip, the "Trip Interruption" coverage may apply if Mexican authorities have closed the Port. If you have questions about your coverage, call the toll-free number on your Travel Insurance policy to ask. Neither our guides nor our office staff can determine if coverage will apply. Sea Kayak Adventures does reserve the right to modify and alter trip itineraries and in these circumstances will not provide any refund of trip monies paid.
*Last-minute means no sooner than noon the day prior. Final information will be provided at the evening orientation meeting.
ALL PRICES IN US DOLLARS. We will do our best to adhere to the itineraries and trip descriptions listed on our website. However, tour itineraries or sub contractors (such as taxi, cruise boats or hotels) may change slightly due to reasons beyond our control including but not limited to Acts of God, wind, waves, inclement weather or other. We always welcome you to call us to clarify any item - often this is the best way to fully clarify expectations - call us collect or on our toll-free number. You will be sent pre-trip email with latest details within a month of your tour - it is your responsibility to check in with us prior to your trip to see if you have all the information you need. We will always do our best to provide you with the best possible tour and to fully meet your expectations to the best of our ability.
FAQ & More
How do I get to Loreto?
Please see our Baja Travel Guide for tips on getting to and from Loreto
Are your tour prices in USD?
Yes, all of our tour pricing is in US Dollars.
What’s included in this kayak package? What’s not included?
Included: Skilled professional guide services, ground transportation, motorboat-support to carry gear, snorkeling equipment, camping equipment including tents, sleeping bags, liners, and sleeping pads. Our camping trips include all meals from lunch on the first day to lunch on the last day.
Not Included: Airfare, transportation to and from airport, hotels before and after kayaking, gratuities, $25 National Parks & Biosphere Reserves access fees required by itinerary, and items of a personal nature.
What kind of kayaks do you use?
For all of our Baja tours we use high quality, fiberglass kayaks, made by Seward. The majority of our fleet is comprised of tandems, as these boats offer the greatest stability, speed, and ease of paddling. There are typically a small number of single kayaks present on the tour, which will be utilized by the guides. Depending on weather conditions, and interest, they may allow guests to rotate into singles; however this will be at the guide's' discretion based on safety and the paddling objectives for the day. We also have a limited number of solo kayaks available to reserve and use throughout the trip (for an additional cost) for paddlers who have ocean kayaking experience.
Are your kayak trips motorboat supported?
Yes, if at any time a guest does not want to paddle they are welcome to ride in the panga instead.
Can I paddle a single kayak?
We have single kayaks available to reserve and use throughout the trip (for an additional cost of $100) for paddlers who have previous ocean paddling experience. If you would like to reserve a single kayak for your trip you will need to contact our Adventure Consultants to add this to your reservation and provide a summary of your ocean paddling experience.
What if I don’t have sea kayaking experience?
Whether you are an avid sea kayaker, or it is your first time, you’ll enjoy these incredible trips, and share in our passion for adventure, commitment to conserving the environment, and relishing unique experiences. For those new to the sport, kayaking is easy to learn in the sheltered waters that we visit, and we provide all of the camping gear, kayaking equipment and guidance needed. In addition, we keep our groups small to allow you to not only travel intimately among nature, but to ensure you receive the necessary attention from our guides.
What are the physical requirements for this trip?
When stopping at shore, you should be able to climb in and out of the kayaks on your own. They will be floating in calf-deep water. Your guides are happy to assist, but balance and limberness are required. When you get to your evening campsite, all group members must to be able to help carry the kayaks above the high tide line, in teams of 6-8, before the group disperses. You will change camp sites almost every night, but may have a layover day. Camp sites are assigned by the National Park Service immediately prior to the tour.
What’s camp like? Are there toilets and showers at camp?
When you get to your evening campsite all group members must be able to help carry the kayaks above the high tide line. You will change campsites almost every night, but may have a layover day. Campsites are assigned by the National Park Service immediately prior to the tour. We endeavor to secure the very best campsites for the natural beauty and amenities of the area. Your guides will give a demonstration of how to set up and take down your provided dome tent. We also will provide you with a sleeping bag, liner sheet, pillow and an inflatable thermarest sleeping pad. There will be a kitchen/dining area and shade tarps where you can sit back and relax.
While kayaking, we can only carry enough fresh water for drinking and cooking. There are no fresh water sources on most of the coastline and islands we visit. You can clean up with saltwater and soap off above the high tide line, or bring disposable shower wipes. A porta potty will fit into a hatch of the kayak or on the panga support boat, and will be transported to each campsite and set into a sheltered area for solid waste. Liquid waste can be expelled below the high tide line, or in a separate porta-potty bucket.
Is it safe to be around whales in sea kayaks?
As with all adventure travel, there is certainly an inherent risk that comes along with this sort of travel, as well as multiple external factors and variables that are outside of our control. However, we do take every measure to ensure that you and your family are in a safe situation while paddling. We paddle large, expedition style Sea Kayaks. Their size, girth, and weight make them very stable to paddle. We have never experienced a situation in which a whale has harmed a kayaker in the water. The whales are very aware of their surrounding, and we maintain a safe distance at all times.
What happens if it’s too windy to paddle?
If it’s too windy to paddle your guides will have alternative activities for guests to enjoy. There are opportunities to snorkel, hike or just relax on the beach with a margarita. We plan our itineraries to minimize risks posed by weather, but there is always an element of unpredictability in nature. The risk capsizing is reduced by our stable boats, but exists. All of our kayak guides are certified in kayak rescue.
What are the highlights of this tour?
The Islands of Loreto Bay are high traffic areas only to whales, dolphins, and other marine life! Boats are few and far between, and even other kayakers are seldom encountered. A few coves are popular lunch sites for passing boats or local fisherman, but otherwise you may feel as if you're alone in the wilderness. The Loreto Bay National Park Service assigns campsites on these islands, and only allows one group per site. Barring mix-ups or weather emergencies, your tour will have the beach to yourself.
When is the best time to go to see whales in the Sea of Cortez?
The islands of Loreto National Marine Park, located in the Sea of Cortez, are home for 6 different species of whales including Blue, Fin, Sei, Humpback, Bryde's and Pilot whales. From January through April look for spectacular sightings of Blue, Fin and Humpback whales in the warm, calm waters near Loreto on our Sea of Cortez Islands tours. Magdalena Bay and San Ignacio Lagoon, on the opposite side of the peninsula, are both world-renowned winter nursery grounds of the Gray whales. From late-January to mid-March is the best time to see gray whales. We operate both Gray Whale Base Camps and Kayak/Whale Watching Combos during this short season.
Can I fish?
In general, fishing is allowed in Loreto/La Paz. You would need to obtain a fishing license either before arriving or upon arrival. Our guides will not allow fishing if you are unable to produce a valid license. You will also need to bring all of your own fishing equipment. Along our kayaking routes there are areas where fishing is allowed, the guides will let you know where fishing is prohibited. Also, fishing is only allowed at the guide's discretion, as we have an itinerary, schedule and other group members that we have to take into consideration.
When is the best time to go?
Spring and fall are the most ideal times for enjoying the Sea of Cortez. The strong northerly winds blow longest and strongest from late November through early March so spring and fall trips are characterized by calmer, warmer days. Fall trips (October & November) offer warm and clear waters for great snorkeling and little chance of strong winds. An added attraction is the opportunity to observe the Baja desert in bloom following the rainy season in August and September. Winter trips (December, January & February) tend to be cooler with more chance of wind. Spring trips (March, April & May) offer warmer waters with warm calm days being common. As an added bonus on spring trips many cetaceans migrate into the Sea of Cortez at this time and sightings may include blue, fin, and humpback whales.
What’s the difference between Loreto & La Paz?
If you are having trouble deciding between the two destinations we suggest reading this Blog detailing the differences between Loreto and LaPaz.
What gear do I need?
Sea Kayak Adventures will provide you with a detailed packing list prior to your trip. We provide all of the necessary camping, paddling and snorkeling equipment, which you will need to fully enjoy your adventure. If you are interested in more specific information, check out our general Baja packing list here! If you have any questions, or need help deciding what to bring, you can call or e-mail one of our friendly Adventure Consultants at any time for some extra advice!
What kind of food will I eat? Do you accommodate dietary restrictions?
Our renowned wilderness meals are prepared daily by our guides using local, fresh, healthy ingredients. In Baja you can expect an authentic dining experience, with savory dishes like chiles rellenos, tostadas, ceviche, and chicken mole. We even serve delicious desserts like brownies and pineapple upside-down cake! Each morning, we serve up freshly brewed coffee or tea. Throughout the day we provide an abundance of local fruits, vegetables, and other snacks. Wine and mixed drinks are served with hors d’oeuvres each evening for happy hour.
We do our best to accommodate special dietary requests, working within the parameters of the destinations in which we operate. If you have a very strict diet, we recommend packing extra snacks that you know you can eat.
How many guests per tour?
To keep our group size small and our impact minimal, we typically limit our tours to 14 people or less. Our standard minimum to confirm a departure is 4 guests for our Islands of Loreto Bay kayak tour.
What’s the weather like in Baja?
Please check out this great website Weather Underground for temperature averages in Baja.
Will I have cell phone reception?
Contact your service provider for the best options for taking your cell phone to a different country. You are unlikely to receive cell service while paddling, but WiFi is available in many coffee shops in town. Your guides will be equipped with radios during the tour in case of emergency.
Is there any extensions I can add to the beginning or end of my trip?
If you will be extending your stay in lovely Loreto before or after your tour, we are happy to arrange a Tour Extension option to help you explore Baja. Please inquire with the office if you would like to add on a tour extension to your reservation.
Is there a single supplement fee for solo travelers?
Our tour costs are based on double occupancy on any included hotel nights. Solo travelers who would like their own single hotel room can pay a single supplement or can be matched up with another solo traveler of the same gender if one is available and willing to share. If we are unable to pair you with another solo traveler, we must apply the single supplement charge to cover our hotel costs. Solo travelers will always have their own tent during kayaking tours, at no additional cost.
Where can I store my luggage while I’m on your tour?
You can leave your luggage at your tour hotel while you are on tour. We recommend getting a luggage lock if you are leaving any electronics in the bags. We’ve never had any issues with guests leaving their bags at the hotel but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
What are your Terms and Conditions?
Please see our full Terms & Conditions HERE.
Amazing trip! We kayaked, snorkeled, hiked and ate like kings. The guides were wonderful, kind, fun and knowledgeable. I wish we would have extended this for 5 more nights!
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